Longtime Windows 10 users might think they’ve mastered just about every Windows trick in the book. So, it may come as a surprise to learn that there are plenty of lesser-known tips, shortcuts, or features that you never knew about. Following are five helpful tools and features that you can immediately employ to keep you on task, help you work faster, and get assistance at a moment’s notice. Try them and see if they help you get more and done.
1. Notepad search with Bing
Notepad, a basic text editor included in all versions of Windows, lets you create, open, and read files that contain plain, unformatted text. You can use Notepad to jot down short notes or edit text that you plan on pasting into an email.
But did you know that you can also use Notepad to search using Bing? This function helps you find the most accurate word, the definition of an unknown phrase, and an assortment of other content, all within the document you’re working on.
How: Open the text editor by typing Notepad into the Windows search box and select Open. Consider pinning it to your taskbar for easy future access.
Highlight a word or phrase, right-click it, and select Browse with Bing at the bottom of the scroll down menu.
Voila! Bing will provide you with definitions, answers to common questions, local info, and links to related content.
2. Print to PDF
Printing to PDF allows you to capture information found on the web even when you have no network printer available. And because PDF format is ubiquitous, you can rest assure that whoever you decide to share the file with will be able to open it.
How: Print to PDF is automatically configured in Windows 10 and doesn’t require additional setup. Go to the page you’d like to print then select More at the top right-hand-corner of open window (it will look like three dots). Scroll down and select Print.
Click on Printer to display the list of all available printers and select Microsoft Print to PDF, then select Print.
Imagine your computer has multiple windows open but you want to dedicate your attention to just one of them. There’s no need to painstakingly minimize each individually. The shake to minimize feature in Windows 10 can minimize any apps or windows that are open to keep you focused on what you’re working on. Clear your screen and clear your mind with the shake-to-minimize function.
How: If you’re using a mouse or trackpad hold down left-click and shake. If you’re using a touchscreen, keep your finger on the title bar and shake it.
Almost immediately, you’ll see your apps and windows minimize to the taskbar so you can focus on your active window. Want to maximize them all again? Repeat the same shaking action to bring them back
4. The Updated Calculator App
Whether you’re an aspiring architect or a famous chef you likely have occasionally needed to convert many different measurement units including Currency, Volume, Length, Weight and Mass, Temperature, Energy, Area, Speed, Time, Power, Data, Pressure and Angle.
How: Type Calculator into Windows search and open it. Then select the menu in the upper-right-hand corner to bring down a list of options.
Want to convert tablespoons, cups, pints, and gallons? Navigate to Volume. Want to convert dollars into pesos? Navigate to Currency. You can even calculate the distance between dates by navigating to Date Calculation.
5. Compress Files and Folders by Zipping Them
Working on a group project and want to share all the related files? Want to send off your most recent vacation pictures to the family? Combine several files into a single zipped folder to make it easier to share.
Select the individual files or folder you’d like to share, right click, then select Send to. Next, select Compressed (zipped) folder.
A new zipped folder with the same name will be created in the same location. To rename it, right click (or press and hold) the folder, select Rename, then type in your preferred folder name.
Shared or sent zipped files will need to be unzipped in order to view them. To unzip your files, right click the folder and select Extract all, check the box next to Show extracted files when complete, then Extract.
The above examples are just a few of the tips and tricks we think will save you time and possibly frustration.